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Losing Trust Equity

Posted on : 14-07-2009 | By : Frank Eliason | In : Brands, Personal

Tags: ,

0

Everyone has a brand that they trust fully.  For me, one of those brands is Crest.  In fact I trust all products by Proctor and Gamble.  So much that we bought stock in the company.  Over the years the performance of their products has gained a large trust equity for me.

The benefits of trust equity is I would never hesitate purchasing one of their products.  This can be such a big boost to a company.  It makes it much easier to introduce new products and develop interest.  In many ways it also allows you to price your products at a premium to the market.  But how easy is it to lose this equity?

Well yesterday Carolyn went to the dentist.  During the appointment she discussed some brown spots on her teeth.  They easily cleaned but there was a discussion about different teeth cleaning products.  The hygienist asked about Crest Pro Health Rinse.  We did have that recently.  My wife asked about Crest Pro Health toothpaste.  The hygienist did not hear of any trouble with the toothpaste but she did mention how they were no longer providing the samples of the rinse due to brown spots.

So today my wife immediately started searching the web regarding this issue.  She was surprised at what Google brought to her attention.  Here is a news report on the topic:

I strive to read the Consumerist everyday, and I missed some of their stories on the topic.  Here are a few of them:

A standard Google search reveals many more. It also revealed to me that there is a warning on the toothpaste that states “products containing stannous flouride may produce surface staining of the teeth.” I should clarify this is a “whitening” toothpaste that my produce surface staining? I never noticed that until this Google exercise. I think that has to do with the trust equity that this product has with me. I would have never even thought to look for a legal disclaimer. I also think we have all become immune to the legal mumbo jumbo that exists out there.

By the way here are the other warnings on the Crest Pro-Health toothpaste:

  • When using this product do not use for sensitivity longer than four weeks unless recommended by a dentist
  • Stop us and as a dentist if the sensitivity problem persists or worsens
  • Sensitive teeth may indicate a serious problem that may need prompt care
  • Keep out of reach of children
  • If more than used for brushing is accidently swallowed, get medical help or contact a poison control center right away

The actual warning is under “other information” and it does state adequate brushing may prevent these stains which are not harmful or permanent and may be removed by your dentist. The next bullet is “this Crest is specially formulated to help prevent staining.”  This brings about the question of why the warning?

For many products, before buying, I usually search Google, read review or discuss with friends, but some have a trust equity that do no require that.  This equity does build up, but can easily come down.  Now I will probably still buy standard Crest products because I have a strong experience with them, but it will take a long time to build the equity when it comes to trying new products for this company.  Do you have companies or products that have built such a large trust equity?